Friday, December 6, 2013

3 MTB life lessons

focus on the opportunity, not the obstacle
I’m a terrible mountain biker, so this is one I like to learn the hard way. All the time. On every trail there is a section that literally passes between a rock and a hard place (generally a tree). More often than not, I fixate on that rock or hard place, hit one, and Superman over the handlebars. Apparently the trick is to focus on the foot or so of dirt between rock and hard place, or better yet the trail safely past said obstacles (the “opportunity”). The few times I’ve been able to do it, it totally works.
life application: Stop being so negative- take note of obstacles, identify the opportunity around them, and focus on that possibility.

anything worth doing involves a little risk
Sure, I can have a pleasant time and maybe get a little exercise playing it safe on the green trails at Sunderbruch or keeping to the outside loop at Sylvan. But c’mon, man. Is that why I’m there? No one in the history of ever gets jacked up talking about how easy their mid-tempo effort was or their lack of battle scars. I can ride my road bike from my house and get the job done- so if I'm going to drag my bigass MTB out to a trail then I want an accomplishment. I don’t care if it’s a simple log crossing, which is an epic challenge for me. The point is to get out of the comfort zone. Sometimes I surprise myself.  
life application: Never allow fear to guide my life.

i can cry and still move forward
I stole this one from Robyn Benincasa. Sometimes things don’t go well. Sometimes I get hurt, or lost, or I just straight up bonk. When this happened in the past, I used to go through an energy-sapping self destruction process of anger and mental self-abuse. But I have found that my best tactic is to just let it out, immediately and hard, while still pedaling forward. It’s fairly shameless and to the few that have noticed I am unapologetic: “Yep. I’m bawling.” Or I lie: “I swallowed a bug!” I get it out and get over it. And most people don’t notice if I keep moving anyway- a couple hard sobs and it's over, and I'm back to it. 
life application: Don’t get crushed under the weight of my own drama. Accept it, embrace it, and let it go. And keep moving forward.

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